Wednesday, 24 June 2020 15:50

Cooper issues executive order requiring face coverings, extending Phase 2

Written by
Rate this item
(4 votes)

ROCKINGHAM — North Carolinans will be required to wear face coverings when out in public and getting “back to normal” will take a little longer.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday issued yet another executive order extending Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan until at least July 17 and requiring the wearing of face masks at public places in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

N95 respirators are not required, according to the order, and face coverings can be made from cotton, silk or linen.

“Ideally, a Face Covering has two or more layers. A Face Covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels,” the order reads.

Coverings are required at retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and tattoo establishments, childcare facilities and daycamps, state government, transportation, high-density work environments meat and poultry processing plants, long-term care facilities and other health-care settings.

The following individuals are exempt from the order:

  • One who should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
  • Is under eleven ( 11) years of age;
  • Is actively eating or drinking;
  • Is strenuously exercising;
  • Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  •  Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;
  • Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;
  • Is temporarily removing his or her Face Covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes;
  •  Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
  •  Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle; or
  • Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child's face.

Face coverings are not recommended for children under 2 years old and those not wearing a mask do not have to provide proof of a condition, according to the order.

Citations will only be issued to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the governor’s order. Law enforcement is not authorized to enforce the order against individuals.

However, if a business denies entry and the customer or employee enters or refuses to leave, they can be charged with trespassing.

For the third consecutive day, and the fourth time in five reporting days, the Richmond County Health Department announced five new positive COVID-19 cases.

There have been 15 new cases announced this week, bringing the county’s overall total since April 7 to 244. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday showed Richmond County’s total at 242.

Twelve additional patients have recovered from the coronavirus since Monday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 179

According to the Health Department, there are currently 60 active cases, with five people hospitalized and the remaining five under home isolation.

On Tuesday, North Carolina hit a record high of 915 COVID-19-positive patients in the hospital, dropping to 906 on Wednesday.

The deaths of 1,271 North Carolinans have been attributed to the coronavirus, including five in Richmond County.

The state reported the second-highest number of new cases in one day on Wednesday with 1,721. The record high was set on June 12 with 1,768. The lowest this month was on June 2 with 626


Last modified on Thursday, 25 June 2020 14:40